Abstract

This paper applies semantic network analysis to studying structural dynamics of knowledge. Here the method is used to trace evolution of sociological knowledge in Russia based on the data gathered through semi-automatic processing of the papers published in the Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology during the period from 1998 to 2012. The analysis reveals cyclic dynamics of knowledge structures by such measures as clustering and centralization (degree, betweenness, eigenvector) both in semantic networks as whole and in their cores. Considering changes in the set of key concepts in different years allowed us to trace how the backbone of sociological knowledge formed over time, how certain thematic clusters grew and decreased in importance, and how the thematic accents switched during the whole period under analysis.

Keywords: semantic network analysis, structure of sociological knowledge, knowledge dynamics, semantic surrounding, key concepts, Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology.